The Denver Broncos face an uphill battle heading into this weekend’s game against the Baltimore Ravens. After all, the Broncos were sitting at 6-0 heading into a game with the Ravens last fall, when Baltimore pounded Denver 30-7, setting off a four-game losing streak. The Ravens are 3-1 so far this year, with a defense that excels in several top categories, points out The Denver Post, but the Broncos have an added weapon heading into this year’s matchup: quarterback Kyle Orton. This is Orton’s second year in coach Josh McDaniels’ offensive scheme, and compared to last year’s dink-and-dunk, conservative style, Orton is well-versed enough to be leading the NFL in passing.

Orton has officially established himself as an “elite” NFL quarterback, writes Denver Daily News, having passed for at least 295 yards and one touchdown in each game this season. He’s also winning love on the national level, with Yahoo! Sports comparing him and wide receiver Brandon Lloyd to the duo of Hall-of-Famers quarterback Joe Montana and wide receiver Jerry Rice. The analogy is a bit tongue-in-cheek, but Orton’s throwing prowess this year is remarkable by any standard.

Meanwhile, ESPN praises McDaniels’ support this week for Orton, who called the Tennessee Titans “cheap” after Sunday’s game. McDaniels has since voiced his own thoughts on the matter, explaining that the Titans’ coaching approach seems to include either encouraging or tolerating unnecessary penalties. “There are two things that stick out the most…about McDaniels’ comments,” writes ESPN. “First, he backs up his players, and second, he is not afraid of other coaches.”